The Skinny on Farm Subsidies and Obesity

The Skinny on Farm Subsidies and Obesity

Obesity has reached epic proportions in the United States and its price tag is soaring. With one-third of adults and more than 12 million children and adolescents obese, the direct and indirect medical costs of this scourge total as much as $147 billion a year. The...
Food System Pays Dearly as Wall Street Occupies Washington

Food System Pays Dearly as Wall Street Occupies Washington

Despite the Occupy Wall Street movement’s now month-long direct challenge to corporate and financial industry power, the machine keeps rolling along. The 1 percent recently racked up two more big victories. President Barack Obama signed three new free-trade...
Casino Crops

Casino Crops

Thanks to decades of deregulated agriculture, markets for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and other farm commodities have become high-stakes casinos. If family farmers are to be stewards of the land and safe, nutritious local supplies of food are what we want, then we...

Out-of-Whack Budget Whackers

Let’s play a game called “Washington Budget Whackers Go Wacky”! Unfortunately, though, it’s not a game. Ax-wielding Republicans and Democrats alike are madly whacking at our nation’s public programs in a political contest to show which of...
Food Security and National Security

Food Security and National Security

Sounding the alarm about various threats posed by a rising China has become a cottage industry among pundits and politicians. One of the oldest warnings is that China’s increasing demand for food will wreak havoc on international markets, causing mass starvation...

Dairy Farmers vs. Commodities Traders

Despite treating her cows humanely, strictly adhering to milk production regulations, and carefully stewarding her land, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer I know is $70,000 in debt. She has no idea how she’ll repay her creditors or how much longer they will allow her...

Food, Egypt, and Wall Street

The dramatic rise in food prices is fueling a great deal of discontent in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. It’s a deep undercurrent propelling many of the poor, who face prospects of starvation to resort to the streets and to violence. According to the United...
Fighting Finance from Below

Fighting Finance from Below

At the onset of the Third World debt crisis in the 1980s, many economic justice activists were afraid to engage on the issue because they felt it was just too complicated. Then, in the 1990s, the hot issue was trade. And again, many people thought, “I’ll...
Food Shouldn’t be a Poker Chip

Food Shouldn’t be a Poker Chip

This Thanksgiving, most farmers around my hometown in central Minnesota are celebrating a good harvest. Rain–for once–fell at the right time in the right amounts, and prices for many crops grown in Litchfield are high. After yo-yoing up and down for the...

Financial Reform Bill Could Stabilize Commodities

The financial reform bill that has finally cleared the Senate would help stabilize commodities markets, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), an OtherWords partner. “The Senate bill helps make the market function like a market...

The Commodities Bubble

For those following economic trends, the past 18 months are notable primarily for two reasons. First, the U.S. housing market, long seen as overvalued by alternative economists and even powerful economic institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF),...